I travelled to the beautiful Riviera Maya at the end of April 2017 with a group of 80 people to attend my best friend’s destination wedding. We stayed at the gorgeous Grand Bahia Principe Tulum Resort. I love group trips and with a fun filled destination, it was bound to be an amazing time.
This was my second time to the Riviera Maya and it was exactly as I remembered with the turquoise water and white sand beaches. I am always asked which part of Mexico I have enjoyed the most. Riviera Maya is by far my favourite because of the awesome excursions and the gorgeous beaches. Here is my review of Grand Bahia Principe Tulum. As always this is all my own opinion and what I experienced.
The Grand Bahia Principe Resort has Akumal, Coba and Tulum Resorts on the same property. We stayed in the Tulum portion which was close to the beach. We got lucky with our room being a 2 minute walk to the beach. I can’t even explain how large this Resort is! Tulum alone was massive with close to 1000 rooms, 3 pools, a spa, amphitheatre, tennis courts, a gym, dolphin aquarium, and water activity centre. Not the mention you also have full access to the Coba Resort so basically double everything I mentioned above!
The lobby wasn’t anything special but did have free wifi. One of my favourite parts of the resort is the Hacienda where the disco, casino, sports bar and shopping was located. It has live entertainment every night and the disco was great because it was open until 3 am. Everything else on the resort closed at 11 pm with the exception of the snack bar. Other than excursions you have no reason to leave the resort as they have everything you could need including a 24 hr doctor!
There are shuttle’s to pick you up as everything is far apart and you could spend the majority of your trip walking. It can take up to 20 minutes for a shuttle to get to your stop so sometimes it was quicker to just walk. Make sure you take a shuttle to Coba to try out their a la carte restaurants and to take a look around. They have a gorgeous lobby and great outdoor seating.
The first few days of the trip I was not impressed with the beach. It was covered with seaweed and very rocky. It was suggested to me to walk to the Akumal side of the resort and use the beach there. It was amazing! You can’t use the chairs because it is for Akumal guests only but is so worth it to check out. Soft sand, clear water, no seaweed and fish everywhere. It brought me back to the Bahamas, it was so nice! The seaweed at the Tulum beach did clear up by the end of the trip, but it was still rocky. Make sure you use your one hour a day of free water activity! I didn’t know about it until the day before we left. Kayaking was so much fun watching all the fish swimming underneath me.
The room we had was close to the beach on the bottom floor. I loved the bathroom with jacuzzi tub and how modern the room was. Our mini fridge was always stocked and the maids always did a great job cleaning the room. It was always quiet and I couldn’t hear our neighbours.
The things I did not enjoy were the double beds pushed together to make a king size. This was the first resort I have been to that I have ever seen that. The first 3 days our bathroom was full of ants because there was a gap on the door to our room so I had to shove towels in it every night before bed. I know some rooms at this resort don’t have air conditioning but luckily we were in the section of rooms that did. It was so hot and humid I don’t think I would have survived without it!
The Tulum section of the resort has 1 buffet, one 24 hr lunch buffet/snack bar and 3 a la carte restaurants. The buffet I did not enjoy at all and was probably the worst buffet I have ate at! Everything was super bland and with the exception of a few things the buffet remained the same food choices.
The lunch buffet at the snack bar was good and had a lot more flavour than the regular buffet. It also was in a more convenient location close to the beach and pool. The 24 hr snack bar had a few options like burgers, hotdogs and fries.
The a la carte restaurants were extremely hard to get a reservation at and the line up to even make a reservation was an hour long. I was only able to get one reservation on the Tulum resort at the Gran Tortuga a Brazilian restaurant where they come around and carve off meat for you. It was an amazing meal and basically all you can eat as they keep coming around as many times as you want.
I didn’t get to try the other 2 restaurants on the Tulum side but I did go to the Coba side for my other 2 reservations. The Mediterraneo Restaurant that served mainly seafood was really good and had a great appetizer buffet. My favourite was the Mikado Restuarant serving japanese cuisine. The sushi and steak were to die for and they made the best mango mojito.
I wasn’t blown away by the drinks. They were pretty standard for a resort in Mexico. The drinks at the a la carte restaurants were the best probably because they weren’t in a rush. The wait time at the bars is long and could take up to 20 minutes of standing there to get a drink. They have a coffee bar just off the main lobby that has a machine to make flavoured coffee drinks. If you like to sit on the beach for extended periods of time, bring your own insulated cup as they don’t serve you on the beach and depending where you are sitting you may not be close to any bars.
Check out my video below to see more footage from inside the resort!
Check out my 5 awesome things to do in Riviera Maya!